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January 11, 2013updated 15 Jan 2013 5:11pm

The UK’s top news websites for iPhone, iPad and tablet mobile devices

By Carolina Are

With more than half Britons now owning smartphones and tablet computer sales rocketing – Press Gazette has carried out an audit of the UK’s leading national news providers to find out how ‘multi-platform’ they are.

Most newspapers have created an iPhone, iPad and Android app. While most iPhone and iPad apps only offer a free trial version and then require a subscription, most apps on Google’s Android operating system for tablets and mobile phones are free, with the exception of The Sun.

The Guardian and BBC’s iPhone apps are most rated by Apple users. However, taking into account ratings submitted by iPad and Android app users – the Mirror app is the most successful.

National news providers have different strategies when it comes to the reading experience offered to mobile website users.

The Sun, Mail Online and Times – for instance – do not offer a mobile-optimised version of their website while The Guardian, BBC, Independent and the Telegraph do.

The Financial Times pulled its apps out of the Apple App Store in 2011 after losing a battle to control consumer data and instead created its own app for iPhone and iPad and for Android.

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By adding up the various average scores submitted by iPhone, iPad and Android App users on the Apple Store and Google Play we’ve listed the top UK national news providers by popularity. Because the FT has its own platform we haven’t been able to give it a user-rating.

We also give publishers a bonus point if their website automatically resizes for mobile users (although some  may intentionally offer a poor mobile browsing experience to encourage take-up of their apps).

Ratings are correct as of 15 January 2012.

1

The Mirror 

iPhone:4.5/5

Price: free.

Comments: offers an App tutorial.

Download

iPad: 5/5

Price: free.

Download

Android: 4.4/5

Price: free.

Download

Mobile-friendly website? Yes.

Total score: 14.9

2

BBC News

iPhone: 4/5

Price: Free

Comments: offers a live radio.

Download

iPad: 4/5

Price: Free

Download

Android: 4/5

Price: Free

Download

Mobile-friendly website? Yes.

Total score: 13

3

The Guardian (includes Observer)

iPhone: 3.5/5

Price: £3.99 for six months after a free two-week trial.

Comments: well designed to mimic website experience.

Download

iPad: 4/5

Price: £11.99 per month.

Download 

Android: 4/5

Price: free. 

Download

Mobile-friendly website? Yes.

Total score: 11.5

4

 

Sky News:

iPhone: 3/5

Price: free

Download

iPad: 3/5

Price: £4.99 per month.

Comments: free if you have a Sky News subscription.

Download

Android: 4/5

Price: free.

Download

Mobile-friendly website? No.

Total score:  10 (Sky News beats The Independent and Evening Standard because they have a better app rating)

5

 

Metro:

iPhone: 3/5

Price: Free.

Download

iPad: 4/5

Price: free.

Download

Android: 2/5

Price: free.

Download

Mobile-friendly website? Yes.

Total score: 10

5

 

iPhone: 3/5

Price: free.

Download

iPad: 3.5/5

Price: free.

Download

Android: 2.5/5

Price: free.

Download

Mobile-friendly website? Yes.

Total score: 10

7

Mail Online (includes Mail on Sunday)

iPhone: 3/5

Price: Free 60-day trial, then £4.00 for 6 months.

Comments: offers an App tutorial.

Download

iPad: 3/5

Price: £19.99 per year. Extra £4.99 a month for the Mail on Sunday.

Download

Android: 3.8/5

Price: free.

Download

Mobile-friendly website? No.

Total score: 9.8

8

 

The Daily Star:

iPhone: 2.5/5

Price: 14-week free trial, then £1.49 for a week.

Comments: requires confirmation the subscriber is 17 or older because of nude content.

Download

iPad: 2.5/5

Price: £1.49 per week after a two-week trial.

Download

Android: 4/5

Price: free.

Download

Mobile-friendly website? No.

Total score:  9

 

9

The Independent (includes The Independent on Sunday)

iPhone: 2.5/5

Price: free

Comments: Ads pop up all the time.

Download

iPad: 2.5/5

Price:£11.99 per month.

Comments: frequent ads pop-up.

Download

Android: 3/5

Price: free.

Download

Mobile-friendly website? Yes.

Total score: 9

10

 

The Times

iPhone: 3/5

Price: 30 days trial with limited content, then £2 a week for three months reverting to £4 a week

Download

iPad: 3/5

Price: 30 days trial with limited content, then £2 a week for three months reverting to £4 a week

Download

Android: 2.5/5

Price: 30 days trial with limited content, then £2 a week for three months reverting to £4 a week

Download

Mobile-friendly website? No.

Total score: 8.5

 

11

The Telegraph (includes Daily and Sunday)

iPhone: 1.5/5

Price:£1.99 per month.

Comments: Ubiquitous ‘subscribe’ button.

Download

iPad: 3.5/5

Price: £9.99 per month.

Comments: Free 30 day trial.

Download

Android: 2.1/5

Price: free.

Download

Mobile-friendly website? Yes.

Total Score:8.1

12

 

The Sun

iPhone: 3/5

Price: £0.69

Download

iPad: 3/5

Price: £4.99 per month

Download

Android: 2/5

Price:£0.69

Download

Mobile-friendly website? No.

Total score: 8

12

The Express (includes Sunday)

iPhone: 3.5/5

Price: 14-week free trial, then £2.49 per week.

Download

iPad: 2.5/5

Price: £7.99 per month.

Download

Android: 2/5

Price: free. 

Download

Mobile-friendly website? No.

Total score: 8

12

The Sunday Times (shares mobile apps with The Times)

Note: It is only possible to subscribe digitally too the Sunday Times via the digital pack which also gives access to The Times

Price: 30 days trial with limited content, then £2 a week for three months reverting to £4 a week

iPhone: 3/5

Download

iPad: 2.5/5

Download

Android: 2.5/5

Download

Mobile-friendly website? No.

Total score: 8

15

The i

iPhone: no app

iPad:2/5

Price: £1.49 per week

Download

Android: no app

Mobile-friendly website? Yes.

Total score: 3

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